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With swift, bold and powerful writing, debut author Alison Littman tells the story of a family ripped apart by revolution, illuminating a time when news, rock ‘n’ roll and underground journalism forever changed the lives of those living behind the Iron Curtain.
After years of suffering under the communist regime in Cold War Hungary, Eszter Turján—fanatical underground journalist—would sacrifice anything, and anyone, to see the government fall. When she manipulates news broadcasts on Radio Free Europe, she ignites a vicious revolution, commits a calamitous murder and is dragged away screaming to a secret underground prison.
Her daughter Dora, then a teenager, cowers in her bedroom as the secret police arrest her mother. Haunted and hurt, Dora vows to work against everything Eszter believes in. But, it’s not that simple.
After nine years, Dora meets a strapping young fan of Radio Free Europe and is unwittingly drawn back into Eszter’s circle. She finds her mother, driven mad by years of torture, is headed for death.
On the brink of losing Eszter again, Dora must decide if she should risk her life to save the mother who discarded her—or leave it to fate.
Radio Underground is a beautiful, relevant novel that explores the lengths and limits of love, family and the power of expression.
About the Author
Alison Littman is a writer by day and a stand-up comedian by night. She lives in San Francisco, California.
“Radio Underground tells a thrilling story of family and loyalty in the face of oppression. Its richly evoked historical setting took me back to the Cold War era, while its warm-blooded characters stole my heart. A propulsive read and a timely reminder that maintaining our humanity requires courage as much as love.” —Kim van Alkemade, New York Times best-selling author of Orphan #8 and Bachelor Girl
“Set during the Hungarian revolution of 1956 and its heartbreaking aftermath, this vivid and compelling novel is a story of courage, family and the importance of "breaking the silence." —Susan Breen, author of The Fiction Class
“A propulsive read and a timely reminder that maintaining our humanity requires courage as much as love.” —Kim van Alkemade, New York Times best-selling author of Orphan #8 and Bachelor Girl
“Radio Underground reads like a movie... A revolutionary tale written with style.” —Readers’ Favorite
“Littman’s debut novel is a delectable blend of history and heartstrings, sure to please the palates of literature lovers everywhere.” —Selene Castrovilla, award-winning author of Melt and Luna Rising